November 30, 2021 Minutes

St. Mark’s Area Civic Association

Minutes of the November 20, 2021 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Board member Kelley Ready.  There were 31 souls present. 

Officer Mike Keaney reported that a rape had been thwarted on the Epiphany School property by Epiphany staff.  He reported that once again due to Covid, the C-11 Holiday party would not be held, but toy donations were being collected to bring to families in the area.  The presents should have a value of $15-30 and be unwrapped.  As of that point, more gifts for girls had been received; so, boys’ gifts were needed.  A member brought up the problem of graffiti.  Mike indicated that in terms of gang activity, overall, the area was good.

Julie Ryan from Frank Baker’s office said that concerns should be directed to 311 and to reach out to Frank’s office. 

Jim Keefe, Mike Lozano (VP of Development), and Chris Stanley (AVP of Design and Construction) of Trinity Financial gave what they called the “beginning of discussions” on the property at 150 Centre Street – the FitzPatrick Brothers property.  They are currently looking at 81 units with 43-48 parking spaces.  50% of the units would be affordable, the definition of which is determined by income.  The top rate for a 2-bedroom unit would be $2,800 per month.  The units would be all rentals.  It would be four stories at a height of about 46’.  A number of members and abutters were against the proposal as presented.  One abutter said a 3 story, 20-30 unit building would be acceptable to her.

A panel discussion lead by Board member Laurie Martinelli and SMACA member John Vergato talked about lessons learned from development proposals that have been approved and denied by the BPDA and ZBA.  The general thought was that due to Covid and thus meetings being held on Zoom instead of in-person, abutters couldn’t meet easily, it was difficult to know who was on the call, and ‘technical difficulties’ caused some people not to be able to speak.  Another problem is that most people don’t know the process for a development.  Laurie put together a sketch which is listed at the end of these minutes.  [Note:  A more comprehensive, easily readable document will be composed and put on our website.]  Julie Ryan from Frank Baker’s office said that people should be invited to abutters meetings as notified by our Office of Neighborhood Services (ONS), George Huynh.  It was recognized that George has been much more responsive to abutters and civic associations than the previous ONS.

The meeting ended at 8:30.

Respectfully submitted,

Douglas Shaheen

Board Member, SMACA

Laurie’s information (with additions by John Vergato and Matt Maranda of the SMACA Development Committee):

BPDC website:

Plug in 1700-1710 Dorchester Ave (or any project address) and see a lot of information including time line, video of public meeting, public comments submitted, and more. 

Article 80 Information:

Overview of BPDA

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) controls projects of less than 15 units.  These go thru the city and community process organized by George Huynh, our Dorchester Liaison from Neighborhood Services. (unless project is over 20,000 sf, then it goes thru BPDA, see below)

Projects OVER 15 units go thru BPDA, which has 2 levels of review:

  1. Small project review:   15+ units or 20,000 49,999 sf
  2. Large Project review:  50,000 sf or more

General overview of process:

  1. Developer meets with the BPDA to discuss pre-application.
  2. Once DPDA deems it “worthy of public discussion” (Aisling Kerr’s words) then discussions are held with civic associations, elected officials, businesses in the community and perhaps others.
  3. With DPDA approval, developer files an official application with BPDA.
  4. Depending on the scope of the project, BPDA can bring in other city or state agencies (ie. When issues such as transportation, state owned land, etc. are involved)
  5. Then an entire public process that she didn’t discuss in any detail.
  6. Developer can’t go to ZBA unless BPDA has approved

Helpful links:

To get help or questions answered:  ZBA Ambassador at [email protected].

To get on the BPDA email list:  [email protected]

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published this page in Meeting Minutes 2022-01-22 22:03:48 -0500
St. Marks Area Civic Association
The St. Marks Area Civic Association is a group of community conscious residents who want to improve the quality of life in our section of Dorchester. We meet in the lower hall of St, Marks Church, at 1725 Dorchester Ave on the last Tuesday of each month